My dad left this world in July of 2011.
Every year since I posted this story, I return during the month of July to read and remember.
It’s been five years since my dad died of complications due to Alzheimer’s disease. The last time I saw him, he did not know who I was. Regardless, we spent the entire day holding hands as we walked up and down the hallways of the Alzheimer’s nursing home. He didn’t say much, but I know that he appreciated the company. His smile was genuine; his eyes still sparkled like blue ocean water.
While I was there, the caregivers at the home repeatedly told him that I was his daughter.
I think their constant reminders began to annoy him, because when the last ‘lady in blue’ passed by, he decided to introduce me before she could say anything. He stood up, pointed at me, and said: “This is my desire. I want her to be your desire too.”
I know that he meant to say daughter. But I think that ‘Desire’ is the most beautiful name that anyone has ever called me.
As I walked through time with him that day, I thought about how short life appears to be in the end. Seconds somehow became years while we weren’t watching, and memories slowly faded away like shadows of a dream coming to an end in the morning light.
Before I left that day, I hugged my dad and told him:
“Don’t worry. God remembers you.”
He gently kissed me on the cheek and waved goodbye.
Peace be with you always, dad.
None of us remember the beginning of life
spent in the darkness of the womb,
but we were surely there.
And so it is with the end of life—
our memories do not define us!
We came into the world because of love,
and we leave the world in the hands of love.
Through love, in love, with love–we are.
Memories may come and go
but love endures forever. ~ms